21 Bridges is an action thriller from director Brian Kirk that follows NYPD detective Andre Davis who is tasked with finding two criminals who shot several cops during a botched robbery. He partners up with narcotics detective Frankie Burns and closes the routes in and out of Manhattan until 5:00am in order to stop them leaving the island and giving them time to catch the pair.
The film takes a number of twists and turns as it goes, with revelations about the robbery and some of the people involved, but never anything that would really surprise you in any way. It feels like a fairly formulaic story, bolstered by a talented cast behind it. With Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller playing the two main detectives and Stephan James and Taylor Kitsch as the robbers there is plenty of acting power behind it. Especially with J. K. Simmons and Keith David playing some of the higher level policemen overseeing the case.
Stephan James is the definite standout of the film, playing the younger, more level headed robber, who is suspicious as to why the robbery ended up going so wrong and struggles to find an explanation for that. Boseman’s character is fairly flat and stoic, and a little uninspiring on paper given that he is the lead, but Boseman has enough charisma to make him solid enough. Kitsch is fun in the film as well, and it was nice to see him back as he hasn’t had too much film work in the last few years.
Kirk’s direction, much like everything else in the film, is fine. He’s someone that has come from television having worked on shows like Luther and Game of Thrones, so has a strong resume there, which left me a little disappointed. His action sequences are all very solid and perfectly competent, but none of them are remarkable, which given that we’re living in a time where a film of this budget can have John Wick or Atomic Blonde level action sequences isn’t where any action film wants to be these days.
With all the talent behind 21 Bridges it was never going to be awful, but in all honestly it should be a lot more interesting than it is. If it really catches your eye maybe check it out on DVD or streaming, but otherwise it will be quickly forgotten.